|All Reviews > Stratus Admissions Counseling > MBA Admissions Counseling Packages Reviews|
Joined: Oct 12, 2020
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Consultant Jennifer Jackson
Jennifer helped me get into my dream school and made the application process as stress-free as possible! Jennifer took the time to get to know me, my background, and what I was hoping to gain from an MBA, and she helped me narrow in on the schools that would be the best fit for me and highlight my strengths through my application. I really appreciated how she provided guidance and suggestions that helped me take my essays and applications to the next level but never tried to change my writing style or the essence of what I wanted to portray. She was so supportive throughout the process, provided an achievable timeline, and was a calming presence as I submitted my applications and prepared for interviews. She has a thorough understanding of schools and the application process, and she provided valuable insights that I never would have known without her. She made the application process enjoyable, and she even helped me learn more about myself that I will carry with me beyond business school. She was always quick to respond and accommodated my schedule for calls and prep. I am so thankful to Jennifer for all of her amazing guidance and would highly recommend working with her!
Joined: May 21, 2020
TLDR version: Donna and Stratus are just incredible to work with and I could not be happier with my outcome of being admitted to Yale SOM.
Now the longer version: I have to admit, mostly due to the high price of a typical multi-school package, I was seriously considering not using a consultant at all (in hindsight, that would have been devastating!!). Once I talked myself into hiring a consultant, I spent more time than I would like to admit reading these very reviews and obsessing over ’top consultant lists.’ I finally came up with a short list of ~5 consultants to have intro meetings with and quite frankly was underwhelmed with most as they were much less personal and much more transactional than I had anticipated. It took no more than 5 minutes of speaking with Donna for me to decide that she is the one I would enjoy/benefit working with the most. Not only is she extremely well-versed in the admissions world, but also it is extremely clear that she genuinely cares about each of her clients – and that is what mattered most to me. Donna made what is a very daunting process a breeze. Add on top of that me having to take the GMAT THREE times and finally hitting a score beyond what I thought was possible for me only a week or so before R1 applications were due. She was able to connect me with the right folks in order to get my GMAT score up and, most importantly, stay sane throughout the process! I could not imagine having to go through the application process with anyone but Donna and would 1,000% recommend her to anyone that is deciding on who to work with!
Joined: Feb 19, 2021
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Donna and the rest of the Stratus team were a joy to work with and I can not imagine going through the MBA application process without them. Donna's assistance was crucial in making sure that I submitted the best possible application and helped me find tutors to increase my quantitative GMAT score. Her honesty, organizational prowess, and experience within the field were what helped me get into my target schools and set clear goals for myself. I will not hesitate to recommend their services to anybody that is going through the MBA application process as I know she is the best available consultant on the market.
Joined: Feb 22, 2021
Consultant Soterios Rouman
Soterios is an expert consultant. He provided hands-on guidance and feedback throughout every step of process and got me into HBS. While working with Soterios, I always felt supported and that he was 100% dedicated to getting me into my dream school.
Crafting My Story - Provided a framework for identifying my top selling points as an applicant and advised on how to build those into a compelling story (that helped me overcome weaker parts of my application).
Maximizing My Essays - Offered detailed, iterative feedback on my essays to maximize every sentence.
School-Specific Tailoring - Leveraged his expertise and Status’s community to recommend alterations to essays that fit what each Admissions Office is looking for.
Rigorous Interview Preparation - Soterios prepared me for the stress of the interview process by pressure testing me in mock interview sessions. Without this I would not have succeeded in the real thing.
Joined: Feb 18, 2021
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Consultant Lisa Cummings
When applying for business school, I was most anxious about writing essays that had the power to tell admissions exactly who I was in the matter of a few hundred words. Working with Stratus, and Lisa in particular, gave me confidence knowing I put my absolute best forward in a clear and coherent way for admissions. Lisa was an easy choice given her extensive experience working in admissions herself. Her feedback not only gave me a second set of eyes on my essays but more importantly, comments and questions an admissions rep at my target school would also have. Lisa was instrumental in keeping me on track in terms of deadlines and really lessened my anxiety around the process, knowing I had someone to provide unbiased, holistic feedback on my application. Lisa took me through every step of uncovering my whole story for “why business school” so by the time I interviewed I could recite my true “why” like the back of my hand with confidence. Outside of essay and story strategy, Lisa also helped me finetune my resume and interview skills – both things I already felt really strong in. She added value where I did not think I needed any help and was there as my support cheering me on through the daunting process. I worked with Lisa on 3 schools and was accepted at all 3 (Tuck, Booth, Kellogg). Finally, I would say Lisa is flexible in her working style and will tailor her approach to your needs (i.e. working independently, following strict deadlines etc.) which really helped to be able to personalize the process. I would highly recommend Lisa and the full Stratus team.
Joined: Feb 03, 2021
Consultant Melisa Prevost
Meeting Melisa via Stratus to help me with my admissions process to a top part time MBA program was hands down one of the most memorable experiences. Having worked with Melisa for over 6 months on my application, simply saying I found one of the best admissions counselor is an understatement. Melisa took genuine interest in not my application - making the entire process a self exploratory process about oneself. She places emphasis on the initial process which eventually makes the other parts of the application much easier to put together.
I was focussed on applying to only a single program MBA program. Coming from a technology background, I was not sure how I would convert my deep technical experience understandable to an admissions reviewer. Melisa was super insightful, taking interest into understanding my background and making me answer my own question about how my experiences might be translated to something more understandable by everyone.
Melisa was super responsive with helping me with reviews on my essays and my resume and would usually get back to me within a day or two and not only communicated with my via emails but was available to chat via phone at a time suitable to both of us. Melisa went above and beyond in getting my essays to the best version of themselves even if it meant 4-5 extra edits. Melisa spent so much time and energy into my application, make me feel confident at every step in the process and really brings out the best version of myself throughout not only the essays and the resume but the interviews as well.
Having managed to get into a top EWMBA program, I attribute an equal portion of this stepping stone to success to Melisa. I will miss is working with Melisa. I am very blessed to have gotten the opportunity to work with Melisa and the Stratus team. Melisa was not only super helpful in helping me with admissions but her wealth of knowledge and experience having gone to a top MBA school herself helped me with providing for a mentor who ensured that I made the right choices even after admissions. I highly recommend Melisa to anyone looking for an awesome person to work with, a super friendly, genuinely caring and super informative admissions counsellor.
Joined: Mar 29, 2018
First, I worked with Donna for two schools and got 1 admitted (Darden) and 1 invited to the interview (Wharton) all thanks to her help (given my low test score, you could tell how she was great to make my application shine)
When it comes to my decision making, I wasn't sure whether I really need to get some helps from a consultant (specifically when it has a high price tag per hour). But now I can 100% assure that working with Donna is absolutely worth investment.
She's super responsive all the time during the process and you will see how this is important given a tight timeline of MBA application process. Also she made herself available whenever I need her help so having no pressure on how many hours I can take with her was a big plus. Speaking of this availability, please don't simply look at the hourly price tag because she put extra efforts and hours with you. This was most critical part for me. I needed a real partner who can be with me when I needed.
Also, I got a huge help to develop my story from her. Please take a look at her experience and she was leading the admission process, which was a huge plus as I was able to gain the perspectives of adcom and decide what topic I need to put or approach on any questions. Donna was really helpful for me to connect dots among many topics and themes in my life so that I can develop my best story fit to the school I applied.
One more great thing with Donna was that I heard from multiple consultants not only her. She has great team members who can share their thoughts and review on your application. I really enjoyed this team-based approach because I felt I got much more services than I actually paid for, and was able to take multiple perspectives on my essays. In fact, the admission process and review is done by a committee not by an individual, I think this team approach would make much more sense to me.
Optional comment for international applicants. As I am an international applicant, it was important for me to work with someone who has experience with international candidates so that my characteristics and stories with cultural context can be fully discovered. Donna has ample experience with candidates from multiple countries - both on reading their applications as a committee and consultant - which allowed me to evaluate how strong my stance and applications.
Joined: Jan 25, 2021
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Donna is an excellent consultant and I would highly recommend her to anyone thinking about getting their MBA! She was an incredible resource and added significant value to my applications. I bought the comprehensive package and would absolutely say it was the right move. Donna helped guide me through the full process, from my introspection exercises to thoughtfully creating a story around my MBA journey and finally helping me prepare for interviews. She was extremely responsive and went above and beyond to make sure she got back to me quickly when we were bumping up against application deadlines. Most importantly, I could tell that she was genuinely excited for me when I finally got the call that I had been accepted at Columbia!
Joined: Jul 23, 2019
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Consultant Melisa Prevost
I cannot recommend Melisa enough. By the end of the 2020 R1 application cycle, I had not only gotten a full tuition scholarship to one of my top choices, I had learned a lot about myself and had become more confident in the direction of my career. From our very first call, I sensed an authenticity to Melisa that I hadn't sensed in other consultations. I started the application process with very little idea of why I wanted an MBA other than to pivot out of my current career or what the application process looked like. Stratus' process is tried and true. Throughout the first few weeks working together, we dug into experiences, events, and feelings that had mattered to me throughout my life, and, in doing so, I figured out what type of impact I wanted to have in my career. As a very private person, I was initially nervous to share some experiences because, while it was important to me, I didn't think anyone else would care. Melisa made me feel comfortable talking about myself and pushed me to think past the experience to examine why it was important to me. I felt like I was talking to someone I had known for much longer than just a few weeks. Initially, I told Melisa that I wanted to pursue consulting, and eventually, throughout the introspection process, I realized, thanks to Melisa, that another path was more aligned with my career aspirations.
Once we figured out my 'why' and 'how', Melisa helped me to nail down my story. I was worried I'd struggle to stand out as a male, finance applicant, but she helped me to leverage my personal experiences into a cohesive, unique story that pulled together my background, current career, need for an MBA, and future career aspirations. It was truly my story and I was proud of what we put together. Throughout the outlines and essay drafts, Melisa was always always always available to talk or ask questions. Every time I had an outline/essay returned, I felt like Melisa had really looked at it from an adcom perspective and provided thorough and thoughtful feedback that helped me to put my best self on paper.
After receiving interview invites, Melisa took me through a few mock interviews and provided some specific tips that really helped me to verbally communicate my story and experiences in a succinct, impactful manner. Come interview day, I felt prepared and confident in explaining the relevance of my experiences and story to an MBA and future career.
Melisa was a total pro all throughout the process. All edits and reviews were returned promptly, and in most cases early. She worked around my tricky schedule, and even made time on the weekend to help me brainstorm after we decided to scrap and restart one essay. Professional through and through.
More than anything, it really felt like Melisa was in my corner, and I am very grateful for that and all the work that she did. I would not have had the success that I did in the application process without her. She is the best and I highly recommend working with her!
Joined: Dec 10, 2019
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Consultant Susan Cera
Susan is an excellent consultant!! I highly recommend her for anyone who is applying to MBA programs. I started working with her in the spring of 2020 with the plan to apply that fall. First, before applications, we worked on short- and long-term goals and took a deep dive into my strengths in order to begin to shape my story. We brainstormed schools that would be the best fit for me and she introduced me to students and/or alums that I could talk to about their experience. She then guided me through the entire application process, including essays, videos, recommendations, interviews (with mock interviews), etc. I found her to be extremely relatable, professional, knowledgeable, and engaging. Susan always has a positive attitude which is very refreshing as the application process can be very daunting. I cannot thank Susan enough for helping me get into my dream school and first choice, Wharton, in addition to my other top choice, MIT Sloan. There is no doubt in my mind that hiring Susan was the right decision and I have already strongly recommended her to family and friends.